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Crown Law Shake-Up Under Way

Crown Law Shake-Up Under Way

LawFuel.co.nz - NZ Law News & Law Firm Directory - The Crown Law Office enters the New Year with a major shakeup underway under new Solicitor General Michael Heron QC.

An unspecified number of CLO staff, including lawyers, are being asked to reapply for jobs in a move that CLO media advisor Jan Fulstow told LawFuel was a move to align the Office's legal team structure and expertise with the Office's "core Crown work" in order to better service Crown clients.

The moves are also required by Government who is seeking a reduction in CLO costs as well as to meet objectives produced in three reports produced over the past 12 months and which identified the need to expand its oversight of the Crown Solicitors' network along with other objectives.

CLO staff were told some days ago that there was a restructure planned, which follows the Cabinet Directions for the Conduct of Crown Legal Business 2012, which focuses the CLO role on core Crown work and demands greater efficiencies in CLO services.

It is widely felt that the Office had become partially dysfunctional in the way in which services were delivered and costs were increasing markedly. Solicitor General Heron is mandated with changing the Office in line with Government requirements, quite apart from imparting his own style and management upon the Office.

"The proposal shared with staff last week is part of a wider change programme in Crown Law to get the right resources in the right place, supported by the right culture, to deliver high-quality legal advice and representation to the Crown in a cost effective way, so we can deliver greater value to New Zealand through the services we provide," Ms Fulstow said.

"For example, Crown Law has already put in place a new strategy and corporate structure, has committed to move to an open plan working environment co-located with the Ministry of Justice, and is implementing a new sustainable funding model for Crown Solicitors."

"The proposed changes will also bring the organisation into better alignment with the Government’s focus on delivering outcomes through the Better Public Services programme and will help to address our current unresolved cost pressures, projected to be over $1 million per year over the next four years."

The Office has needed to stir itself following requirements by Government to reduce costs and the review implemented by the Criminal Procedure (Reform and Modernisation) Bill (CPRAM) ushered in the way for greater efficiencies to be obtained through Crown Law, which has occasionally operated in a dysfunctional manner.

The Government is wanting to see a substantial reduction in prosecution numbers under CPRAM, particularly with jury trials, with fewer cases proceeding to jury trial anticipated to save the Government over $70 million in the next decade.

Read the rest of the article at LawFuel.co.nz - NZ Law Firm News & Online Law Firms

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